FRANCE


Support for fundamental elements of democracy and democratic institutions is lower among French citizens with higher Populism Propensity Scores. By contrast, those with higher scores on Standard Survey Measures of Populism (SSMP) are more likely to support democracy and democratic institutions.

The contrast between PPS and SSMP measurements of attitudes toward democracy is one of the most important behavioral differences observed in these surveys. In all four countries, citizens with a higher PPS are less likely to support fundamental tenets of democracy, and in France, Germany, and Austria those who scored higher on SSMP are more supportive.

There is one important caveat to this finding: While the difference in support for democracy by PPS and SSMP measurements is unmistakable throughout the data in France, Austria, Germany, and the Netherlands, the overall support for democracy and democratic institutions no matter where a citizen falls on either scale is still – at this time – quite strong.

 

The higher a French citizen’s PPS the less likely they are to say that it is important to live in a country that is governed democratically. By contrast, those with higher scores on SSMP are more likely to prefer democratic governance. 

However, as noted above, the overall support for democracy and democratic institutions no matter where a French citizen falls on either scale is still – at this time – quite strong.

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To double check citizens’ commitment to democracy a standard question from the World Values Survey, which is used to estimate support for democracy and democratic forms of government, was also asked of French citizens. The results of this question track the other results.

The higher a French citizen’s PPS the less likely they are to say that “having a democratic political system” is a very good way of governing France. By contrast, those with higher scores on SSMP are more likely to agree with this.

The lower support for democracy among citizens with high PPS scores as well as the inverse relationship among those with high SSMP scores is found no matter how the question is asked.

 

The higher a French citizen’s PPS the less likely they are to say that a free press is important. By contrast, those with higher scores on SSMP are more likely to prefer living in a country with a free press.

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              Click to enlarge

 

The higher a French citizen’s PPS the less likely they are to say it is important to live in a country with a free judicial system. By contrast, those with higher scores on SSMP are more likely to prefer a free judicial system. 

 

French citizens with a high PPS are more likely to agree that having a strong leader who “does not have to bother with the National Assembly and elections” is a very good way to govern France. As you would expect, they are also less likely to agree it is a very bad way to govern.

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              Click to enlarge

 

French citizens with a high PPS are much less likely to say that “having the army rule the country” is a bad way to govern France.